Five of the Best | UK Spa Breaks

Experience everything from pampering to relaxation, delicious food to the latest fitness trends right here on home soil…

Words: Sally Norton

Aqua Sana—outdoor pool at night


This place is actually six spas in one, offering the chance to try a myriad of treatments and experiences in one location. Stay a while in one of the spas or journey through them all during your stay. Each one has its own distinct design and restorative benefits – the Fire & Ice Spa, the Blossom Spa, the Herbal Spa, the Sensory Spa, the Mineral & Gemstone Spa and the Salt Spa. We particularly like the outdoor infinity pool with its beautiful forest views and the Spa Suites for overnight stays, with their oversized bathtubs and doors opening onto private balconies.
Location: Aqua Sana Woburn Forest, Millbrook, Bedford MK45 2HZ.
Booking: An overnight spa break costs from £197 per person, Sunday to Thursday.
Contact: 03348 266205.

Rockliffe Hall Spa


If your idea of a health spa is lying around ordering another a glass of champagne from one of the ‘spa butlers’ before choosing your next sweet-smelling massage or state-of-the art anti-ageing treatment from the extensive spa menu, then this is the place to go. It’s all about five-star luxury here, from the thermal bathing suite with its tepidarium (warm room), caldarium (hot room) and ice fountain to the sound-wave therapy beds you relax on after your treatments. Windows overlook the world-class golf course and the estate beyond dotted with rare and exotic trees collected by the Hall’s former owners, the Backhouse family.
Location: Rockliffe Hall Hotel, Hurworth-on-Tees, Darlington, County Durham DL2 2DU.
Booking: Try the Glorious New Year Spa Day, from £115 per person, until 15 February.
Contact: 01325 729999.

Day Guest Room and Treatment Room


Nicknamed ‘the grande dame of UK health spas,’ Grayshott has been in business for half a century and offers the classic, no-nonsense spa experience for all its guests. There’s a real focus on rest, relaxation and recuperation here, with all the treatments and facilities you’d expect from a top-of-the-range spa. The team at Grayshott pride themselves on their commitment to preventative health and holistic health care as well as all the usual facials and beauty treatments. Our picks include the 7-Day Reshot Health Regime and a specialised 4-day Nurture & Support post-cancer treatment programme. A great place to visit when you’re feeling jaded.
Location: Headley Road, Grayshott, Surrey GU26 6JJ.
Booking: A two-night spa break costs from £455 per person and includes all meals, spa treatments, use of facilities and exercise classes.
Contact: 01428 602020.



It’s funny but sometimes the best place to get away from it all is in the centre of London. This small buT perfectly formed luxury day spa offers a Moroccan-inspired menu of authentic relaxing, cleansing and purifying treatments. Your spa experience starts with a rosewater ceremonial handwash – the mineral-rich water coming from the City of Westminster’s only working artisan well. We particularly recommend a session in the salt-infused steam room, which helps ease aching muscles, soothes skin conditions and is said to be good for respiratory conditions too.
Location: The Spa at Dolphin Square, Chichester Street, London SW1V 3LX.
Booking: There are various Winter Warmer offers available, including a chance to enjoy The Hammam (Turkish Bath) for £90 per person.
Contact: 020 7834 3800.

The Vineyard Spa


If you fancy combining a romantic weekend away with a luxury spa, this is the place for you. As the name suggests, food and wine are taken very seriously here – a glass floor in the reception area provides a view of the 30,000 bottles stored in the cellar. We recommend trying the Discovery Tasting Menu, where you can choose five courses from the menu and enjoy a different and unusual wine matched by the sommelier with each one. What we really like is that the Vineyard Spa doesn’t offer health club membership so it’s only spa guests who use the facilities – making it a truly peaceful and relaxing place to stay.
Location: The Vineyard Spa, Stockcross, Newbury, Berkshire RG20 8JU.
Booking: Try the Taste of Spa, £235 per person.
Contact: 01635 589415.

All these spas can be found in The Good Spa Guide,

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